Media outlets and news sources consistently tell us breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
But is it really the most important meal, or just the most marketed meal?
After all, many breakfast pastries contain the same fat, sugar, and calorie contents that you’d enjoy after dinner or at your local coffee shop. When did dessert foods for breakfast become the norm and accepted, anyway?
Referring to food labels and their sugar content is important when it comes to breakfast foods, as there are many ‘healthy’ choices that’re no better for you in the morning. For example, breakfast cereals can be difficult to gauge; cereals with minimal ingredients, like puffed rice, wheat, and brand cereals, generally have no added sugar, while other more popular brands can have surprisingly sweet contents.
If your breakfast is starting to look a bit too much like dessert, here are a few tips to keep your breakfast nutritious and beneficial to your body:
- When time allows, always opt for whole foods, or cooking the meal yourself (from scratch/homemade is even better).
- Modern lifestyles do cater to convenience, so be mindful of food labels and ingredients before tossing anything into your cart.
- Choose whole-grain, hot cereals for your cereal fix in the morning. Steel cut oats, rolled oats, and other whole grains are fantastic options. If you’re in a time crunch, hot cereals can be made in advance along with your other meal prep – just heat up, and add the dried fruit and nuts of your choice!
- Try nut butter as your choice of spread. Grab-and-go packages of nut butter work well. It’s a healthy alternative that blends nicely with fruit, vegetables or whole-grain baked goods.
- For something more savory than sweet, ricotta cheese is another protein-packed spread that’s suitable for the morning. You can throw it on top of whole-grain baked goods, or your favourite fruits – drizzle it with some honey for a hint of sweetness!
- Going back to making everything from scratch, this especially applies to homemade smoothies. This is the best way to control sugar content. Start with a protein base – plain yogurt, kefir, nut milk, protein powder – and add your choice of frozen or fresh fruit. Don’t forget veggies – spinach, kale, and cucumber are regular inclusions in today’s most nutritious smoothie blends. Top with chia seeds, nuts, flax or cacao for added flavor!
- Eggs have always been a breakfast staple, and for good reason. The protein-rich ovals can be hard-boiled, making them good for a week as a grab-and-go breakfast. Frittatas and omelets are very simple to put together, using up whatever veggies you have on hand. Or, you can get fancy and poach some eggs over sautéed zucchini!
While we won’t say breakfast is the most important meal of the day per say, we can adamantly state it’s our favourite meal of the day. Check out some of our past breakfast articles on starting the day healthy, including these veggie breakfast recipes, protein-rich substitutes for people that hate eggs, and easy ways to take the sugar out of your breakfast.
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